From Manny Pacquiao sparring partner to undisputed champion?
Former Manny Pacquiao sparring partner George Kambosos Jr. is closing in on his defining night in New York City this weekend.
Several run-ins and a father altercation between himself and Teofimo Lopez marred what should have been a professional build-up for two determined warriors.
But now, as the hours tick by until fight night, Pacquiao’s former training mate is on the cusp of undisputed glory – and he knows it.
Challenging for Lopez’s IBF, WBO, WBA, and WBC Franchise titles at lightweight, Kambosos heads to the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night full of confidence.
The 19-0 Greek-Aussie star is ready to end a long-running saga since landing the IBF mandatory spot victorious in London over Lee Selby in October 2020.
At 28 years old, Kambosos is all business.
“He’s got a lot of nervous energy and fear,” said Kambosos Jr. “His Dad got put in his place. He knows we don’t play around.
“We’re here ready to fight, ready for war, and he tucked his tail between his legs, and that’s what’s going to happen on Saturday night.”
Adding further on the feud between the two fathers, he said: “If they want to get it on, my Dad is here too. We all saw it, what can you do?
“He was lucky that my Dad didn’t unleash, or he would not have been in his corner on Saturday.
“This isn’t personal for me. Whatever delusional story he has in his head when he wasn’t even there on June 19, they’re just lying to him and telling him what he wants to hear.
“I am focused. Even with what happened with our Dads, it’s forgotten. There’s no emotion for me. I am here to do a job.”
Lopez threatened to knock Kambosos out in the first round, something that merely rolled off his back.
“He’s coming to KO me early? No problem. That’s what I want to do. Victory by any means, though, would mean the world, all the sacrifice and hard work I’ve had to make. That’s what will make this special.
“It’s for my kids and the people around me. The belts are for them.”
Asked what would be next if he won, Kambosos concluded: “I don’t think about what’s next. Ask Lopez. He thinks one million steps ahead.
“I’m focused only on him. We’ll see if Josh Taylor gives him a fight without having any belts and coming off a loss to the Aussie.
“People say it’s been a long camp, but I am always in the gym, constantly training and preparing. I live in the gym.
“I don’t take a day off. So this has just been like every day. I stay focused and retain tunnel vision.
“When you are fighting for all the marbles, are you going to take your foot off the pedal? No. I’ve been very patient, and we’re here now.
“I’ve got a brilliant team, and I am very smart at what I do. It’s not my first rodeo. I’ve been in the big fights. I’ve earned this the hard way.
“But we’re ready, and we’re clever, and the preparation has been excellent; there’s no burnout or weight issues, nothing, no emotion.
“I’m just coming here to win the fight and be a real champion.”
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